Dizzy, but still rising towards the sky

7 September 2008. Geermu, Qinghai Province.

The city of Geermu is our last stop before driving above 14,000 feet.

We left the lower-elevation localities behind today. At the Olongbuluk Mountain area, our elevation ranged around 2,945 to 2,995 meter (nearly 9,000 feet). The largest fossil mammals found there were extinct elephants of the genus Tetralophodon.

We left fossils from 102 localities in a storage room in Delingha. We packed all of our warm clothes and containers for gasoline and water this morning, and drove around 300 miles to Geermu. After reaching Geermu, a sleepy city near the base of the majestic Kunlun Mountain range, we purchased last minute material needed for our work tomorrow.

During dinner, we hosted our associate at the Qinghai Petroleum Company. He helped us navigate the tough terrains of the southern Chaidamu Basin and provide us with gasoline deep into the desert where they have oil-fields. As part of the "proud" Chinese tradition, we had a huge dinner with plenty of Baijiu, the grain alcohol (56% alcohol by volume) served at all diplomatic and business events. Today was not particularly bad for us, as our associate only drank one cup (I had three cups, therefore I forgot to take photos of this event).

Tomorrow we will take the 2.5 hour drive upward along the Geermu River. Kunlun Pass is legendary in Chinese folklore and history, for its harsh environment. We are sure to see more snow than our previous trips here because of the late field season, but we are excited to bring footages of the highest fossil locality in the world to you all!

Our fields supplies are in good condition; we used around 35% of our plaster bandages for making field jackets in the past week, leaving us with around 78 more plaster bandages. We purchased 10 liters of acetone for the season, but have only used around 2 liters for making glue for stabilizing fossil specimens.

Stay tuned for photos of snowy peaks...

From the chilly city of Geermu, land of dust storms,


1 comment:

Spencer said...

highest fossil locality

Really? Amazing! What an experience it must be....